I recently bought a new laptop and was sorting through my old files. I came across a folder of articles I wrote five years ago and giggled a little to myself.
My very own time capsule of a 22-year-old me.
I thought it would be fitting to republish them in the lead up to my wedding to a guy I wouldn’t have dreamed existed.
For those still looking for love, I hope these stories help you see it’s not always sunshine and rainbows. Sometimes love hurts but from this, we grow and find something a lot more meaningful.
28-year-old me now realises that each life stage plays a part in laying a foundation. Without the previous experience, you’re not able to build something solid.
– tgfs x
When I was younger I loved the book Where’s Wally. I’d spend hours flicking page after page trying to find the little man in the striped top. It was always so frustrating looking for him. I’d almost give up, sighing and admitting defeat after one too many times.
Often I’d think I’d FINALLY located him, only to find I was wrong. Instead identifying his lady friends Wilma or Wenda (Look it up, that’s their names!) It got me thinking, Where’s Wally is a lot like finding Mr Right.
There was always so much going on that one page, and it reminded me of the chaos which makes up my daily life. The scenery frequented one too many circuses or sinking ships. Displays I associate with juggling my university degree, working part-time and hoping to squeeze in a social life.
Taking in the craziness of each picture, you’re looking through what seems like a sea of people. Sometimes thinking you found ‘him’ only to be mistaken for the wrong person, a beach towel or an umbrella.
It’s always funny when you actually find him, you can’t ‘unsee’ him from the page and wonder why you didn’t see him sooner. Your eyes dart back to him over and over again.
For my regular readers, my article a few weeks ago about gambling and giving the ‘Nice Guy’ a chance has paid off. The inspiration of that article is all due to the fact I actually have found my very own Wally who has swept me off my feet.
I’m questioning if he is from this planet. At the risk of making you vomit a little at my WPDA (Writer’s physical displays of Affection) all I’m saying is he’s one of a kind. I mean HE texts me saying he’s taking me out for dinner then we’re going to watch a movie. This concept foreign to me as I am more familiar with the ‘what do you want to do tonight?” “I don’t care” on repeat for two hours (we’ve all been there more than once!)
So after many false alarms of locating him, I wonder how my eyes didn’t find the guy as soon as I laid eyes on that page.
But first, do you remember Odlaw? (Go on google him, you’ll recall him the minute you see his face.) He was always lurking around in the shadows and reminded me of all my ex’s. I’m sure once he donned the coveted red and white stripes, but after a wrong turn, or possibility a bad break up with Wilma he changed into the infamous yellow and black. Like Wally, once you saw him on the page he was also hard to unsee.
Odlaw was always hanging around the page, all the while you’re looking for Wally. Almost always detracting from the search, ‘yes I see you there, but I don’t want to see YOU!!’
I recently went on a date with my new boyfriend (still at the stage where saying that word sees a grin spanning from ear to ear) and bumped into an Odlaw of mine not once, but twice! In two separate locations, 20 minutes apart from one another. Why is it when we find Wally, we still see Odlaw in our peripheral vision?
Odlaw is sneaky and suspicious. He sometimes makes you think that you shouldn’t ignore him, but he is there for a reason? I mean there’s no denying that he’s on that page hoping you see him just as much as Mr Right, right? It’s funny once you end your search and try and take Wally out of his chaotic book and into your life, Odlaw follows suit. He’s happy hiding in the meantime but once he sees your search is over, he starts waving about hopeful he can catch your attention too.
Why is it that all the Odlaws in our life become so hard to unsee when we’ve found what we were looking for? I think for a lot of us, failed relationships don’t receive the amount of closure we’d hope for. When you feel like you’ve found the right guy to move on with, there’s a fear that your Odlaw will come waving about longing to rekindle. Could this Wally be hiding the yellow and black under his shirt, or even simpler maybe to just cause some mischief?
Finding Mr Right is tough work. Especially considering the firing cannons and rodeo you’ve got going on in the meantime, it’s no easy feat.
You’re relieved when you do, but at the same time, you’re a little hesitant. Worrying that your Odlaw will try and steal the show: a random text here, an Instagram like there. Although very minor things, Odlaw knows you’re moving on and for some of them, the thought that you won’t be there for them the day they decide you’re the ‘one’ is quite daunting.
The hardest thing is reminding yourself that Odlaw’s black and yellow stripes are there for a reason. Whether you gave him the jumper, or he volunteered to put it on himself. Don’t let your Odlaw spoil this special time between you and your Wally.
Like a book, turn the page and don’t visit it again. If you stay on the same page, you’ll never move on in the story, or experience another adventure. Be brave to add to your story, instead of settling for a story you’re familiar with.